Janet, It IS a basic question but not a dumb one! Many people have
the same problem at first so don't be embarrassed.
If the force of the flame is too hard, it will blow itself out.
Second, if the tip or head of the torch is cold (cool) the gasses are
not completely gassified (sp) and are not as volatile because the
fuel gas to air ratio has not stabilized.
Try this these steps....first heat the head of the torch with your
flame. Second, barely turn on the gas and then light it. Keep it low
for about 10 secs until the head really warms up and then gently open
it full. This should solve your problem.
Cheers from Don at The Charles Belle Studio in SOFL where simple
elegance IS fine jewelry! @coralnut2